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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Pittsfield's Commissioner of Public Services Retiring
Staff Reports,
04:51PM / Saturday, May 25, 2019

  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Commissioner of Public Services David Turocy is retiring after a 30-year career.   Turocy joined the city in 2015 as commissioner of public services, filling a job that had been created four years earlier but never filled. He came to Pittsfield after serving 11 years as commissioner in Newton. In 2017 his role expanded to take on the role of commissioner of public utilities as well.   The commissioner said on Thursday that he will retire in October and will remain in the area.    "My wife retired two years ago, so it's a good time to go out and relax," Turocy said.   Turocy began his career in Lexington in March

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Pittsfield Strengthen Rules On Contractors Following Hydrant Issues
Staff Reports,
01:46PM / Saturday, May 25, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Contractors must get written approval from city officials before shutting off the water to a hydrant from now on.   In fighting the blaze on Tyler Street on Thursday, firefighters were unaware that the contractor hired by the city to upgrade the water line on Plunkett Street had turned off the valve. Firefighters hooked up a hose but no water came out. They, joined by citizens, police officers, and emergency medical technicians, had to run the hose 500 feet down Tyler Street to tap into another hydrant instead.   The delay may not have been too impactful given that the fire was already towering when firefighters arrived but it was a delay nonetheless and

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Inauguration 2016
by Soapbox 02:00PM / Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Kids 4 Harmony Provided The Music At The Inauguration Reception
by Soapbox 08:38PM / Monday, January 06, 2014

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow
by Soapbox 04:10PM / Tuesday, December 10, 2013

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@theMarket: Markets Held Hostage by Trade & Machines
By Bill Schmick,
03:19PM / Friday, May 24, 2019
If it were not for computer-driven trading, it might actually be funny. Financial markets are careening up and down on a daily basis based on the next tweet or comment from the Trump administration or its counterparts in China. We could see more of the same next week.   Rhyme or reason has truly left the station. Day by day, the trade war of words is accelerating. This week, the U.S. banned China's largest technology company, Huawei, from doing business with American companies. The president accused the company of espionage. The Chinese responded by threatening to drop trade negotiations. Markets collapsed, led by semi-conductor and technology stocks.   A day later, the

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'John Wick: Chapter 3 Parabellum': How Can I Kill Thee? Let me Count the Ways
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
01:27PM / Friday, May 24, 2019
There are two things in this world that really confound me. Nope, it's not wondering what the secret of life is. I've got that figured. It's to get a Ferrari. And it isn't how many angels can you fit on the head of a pin, either. Fifty-six, I reckon, same as DiMaggio's hitting streak.    No, the first of my dual quandary is, how anyone in America isn't repulsed by the administration currently besmirching the sanctity of democracy down in Foggy Bottom? The second dilemma that really has me scratching my head is why on Earth someone would want to see director Chad Stahelski's "John Wick: Chapter 3 Parabellum?"    I concur with Hesh

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Greylock Names New Senior Vice President
12:00PM / Friday, May 24, 2019

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Greylock Federal Credit Union has promoted Rebecca Riordan to senior vice president, human resources.

"Rebecca's positive impact on our organization and culture is undeniable," President and Chief Executive Officer John L. Bissell said. "She has proven to be a transformational leader who brings her boundless expertise, energy and joy to Greylock employees every day. She understands that hiring, training and developing the best employees is the key to Greylock's continued success."

Riordan joined Greylock in 2017 as the vice president of human resources, where she continues to direct all HR and training functions of Greylock's

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BFAIR Hires Director of ABI/MFP, Director of Homecare Services
11:48AM / Friday, May 24, 2019

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Berkshire Family and Individual Resources has hired people to fill two key agency vacancies; sirector of Acquired Brain Injury/Moving Forward Plan (ABI/MFP) and director of Homecare Services.

Both positions are filled by veterans in the human services industry with more than 20 years of experience in the field. The first was filled by an internal promotion of Deanna Davila and the second was filled by Tim Brelsford, who came from Berkshire Farm Center and Services for Youth.

Davila holds a bachelor's degree in human services and joined BFAIR in April 2017 as a house manager in Northampton in the Acquired Brain Injury program. She assisted in opening a new

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Big Y's Real Estate and Development Group Names Senior Manager
11:36AM / Friday, May 24, 2019

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Big Y Foods has announced the appointment of Colin M. D'Amour as a senior manager of procurement within Big Y's Real Estate and Development team.

In this role, he is responsible for managing all aspects of purchasing and equipment buying for the company's 80 plus locations. As part of their Real Estate Committee, he is involved in evaluating viable expansion opportunities across all operating formats, including Big Y World Class Markets, Fresh Acres, Table & Vine and Big Y Express divisions. He is also project manager for the expansion of Big Y's Distribution Center current expansion project.

In addition, he oversees multiple programs and

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St. Agnes Academy Names New Principal
10:49AM / Friday, May 24, 2019

DALTON, Mass. — St. Agnes Academy has announced the appointment of Fadia Rostom Makdisi of Pittsfield as principal, replacing long-time educator James Stankiewicz, effective July 1.

The Rev. Christopher Malatesta, pastor of St. Agnes Church, made the appointment while also reaffirming his unwavering commitment to the academy. He also announced the formation of an Executive Leadership Council, a group of experienced educators charged with the goal of growing the academy while maintaining high academic expectations and Catholic values and traditions.

A search committee selected Makdisi from a field of highly competitive candidates in a regional search.

"We are confident we have

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: May 24-30
10:29AM / Friday, May 24, 2019
SATURDAY Food Truck Feastival at Wahconah Park The 3rd annual Food Truck Feastival returns to Wahconah Park from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. This is a public event featuring food trucks and vendors from all around Berkshire County! Free admission. $3 for parking.   MUSIC & NIGHTLIFE SUN The Suitcase Junket at Hancock Shaker

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Pittsfield Budget Review Day 2: RSVP Budget Sparks Discussion
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:58AM / Friday, May 24, 2019

Day 2 


Jeff Roucoulet received the longest questioning on Thursday evening.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council preliminarily approved eight additional department budgets on Thursday with most of the discussion being focused on RSVP.

The debate over the Retired Senior Volunteer Program was focused on a 49.2 percent raise for the volunteer coordinator position. Director Jeffrey Roucoulet said there had been high turnover in the position and the position of administrative assistant/bookkeeper and the decision was made to raise both of the salaries. However, some of the city councilors felt the increase was too steep at once.   "The wages for those

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Pittsfield, Habitat Cuts Ribbon on New Police Substation
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:07AM / Friday, May 24, 2019

Police were unable to attend because of an emergency situation but Office Friendly made an appearance.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The new police outreach center on Columbus Avenue is now open.   The center, or substation, dubbed the Community Outreach Post (COP) is aimed to bring the police more closely in line with the community in the West Side neighborhoods.   It was developed after a strong push from the community in the wake of murder on Robbins Avenue when a community meeting was held to discuss safety.   One of the main themes from that meeting was that residents wanted to see a stronger police presence and Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Carolyn

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The Independent Investor: Don't Take Loans From Your Tax-Deferred Accounts
By Bill Schmick,
04:49PM / Thursday, May 23, 2019
It sounds too good to be true. Why borrow from a bank when you can take a loan out from your 401(k) or 403(b) and pay yourself back in both interest and principal? If that sounds like a great deal, it's not.   Money purchase plans, profit-sharing plans, 457(b) plans and both 401(k) and 403(b) plans may offer loans, but IRAs, SEP IRAs, and SIMPLE IRAs do not. The IRS does have some restrictions on the borrowing. It limits how much you can borrow at any one time. In general, you are limited to the smaller of 50 percent of your vested account balance, or $50,000. However, there is one exception (hardship) that allows you to borrow up to $10,000 even if it exceeds 50 percent of the

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